These Images Capture A Year Of Global Affairs In Striking Beauty

If an image speaks a thousand words, these photographs from the World Press Photo Contest speak two thousand. Taken by talented photojournalists in countries ranging from Ukraine during Euromaidan to Nigeria after the Chibok schoolgirl kidnapping, the striking images chart the agony and ecstasy of a year in global affairs.

"We were looking for an image that would matter tomorrow, not just today," says jury member Pamela Chen of the winning image: a portrait of Jon and Alex, a gay couple in Russia, where life is increasingly dangerous for LGBT people under President Vladimir Putin's anti-gay propaganda laws.

Going through the photos on this slideshow reminds us that, when a striking image tells a human story, the world doesn't seem so big after all.
All photo captions courtesy of World Press Photo.

For more photos from the competition, visit the 2015 World Press Photo contest website or see the exhibition at London's Southbank.